Govt cracks survey whip

Higher education status

By Mita Mukherjee
  • Published 21.03.17

March 20: The Bengal government has directed all state-aided and private universities and colleges to immediately upload details about their institutes on an online portal as part of a central survey.

The government issued the directive last Monday after it found only 20 per cent of the institutes had participated in the HRD ministry's annual all-India survey to assess the country's state of higher education and plan policies for improvement.

April 13 is the deadline for uploading information regarding the courses on offer, number of teachers, their educational qualifications, students, their performance in exams, scholarships offered to them, non-teaching staff, financial status, infrastructure and NAAC rating.

By now in most other states, more than 60 per cent of the institutes have uploaded their details on the portal, a higher education department official said.

Last year by this time, more than 80 per cent of Bengal's universities and colleges had uploaded their details, he said.

In the directive, the government has fixed March 31 as the deadline for universities and colleges to complete uploading their details. The central deadline is April 13 but the government has kept a 13-day gap to cross-check and verify the uploaded details, the official said.

"The Centre started the survey a few years ago to get a clear picture of higher education in the country. The survey is extremely important as it helps the Centre plan suitable measures for improvement on the basis of the national data," a higher education department official who's monitoring the uploading process in Bengal said.

Bengal saw more than 90 per cent participation in the past two surveys, which had fetched the Union ministry's praise.

The vice-chancellor of a university said the process of compiling the data was on and institute details would be uploaded within the deadline. "There is sufficient time left."

The government is keen to ensure that all institutes get covered because central funds depend largely on the outcome of the survey, the higher education department official said.

The higher the participation, the more the funds from the UGC and other central agencies, he said. "Also, it will help our department frame policies."